Meet Nick, one of Tagsa’s intrepid Community Transport drivers, covering the length of breadth of Uist from Eriskay to Berneray. We asked him a few questions about his work and his experience working in the community as a driver.
When and how did you start working with Tagsa Uibhist?
I was recruited by Tagsa’s Community Transport Manager back in 2013. I did a few runs to see what it was like and decided to join the team.
What were you doing before Tagsa?
I was working as a Fuel Station Attendant as well as working in the garage with Hire Cars. Before that I was a Telecoms Engineer in the Range after spending 24 years in the Royal Corps of Signal, working in Telecommunications.
What does your job involve?
It’s all about providing support in the community, particularly people who might be vulnerable or who are disabled. We collect medication and help with shopping for people who are house bound as well as transporting those who need it to day care, medical appointment etc. Being patient and courteous is very much part of the role!
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy meeting new people in the community, the general variety of tasks, and, of course, I enjoy driving!
What are the main challenges?
It’s sometimes a challenge to meet all of the need that there is for the service, to keep all customers happy. COVID19 has also been a huge challenge that we have responded to.
Would you say why the Community Transport service is needed in Uist?
This service is definitely needed to fill gaps in the fragmented bus service and to make sure that people can get to important medical appointments and get meds. There are many who are without transport. This service is absolutely essential for the elderly and the housebound.
Would you say that you feel fulfilment when doing this job in the community?
Yes, I feel that I am helping the quality of life in the community. For example, even a shopping trip can be a social occasion for a customer.